Chief gets traffic duty |

Chief gets traffic duty

Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson and Lt. Bill Kimminau are finding themselves stuck in the middle of traffic.The two police department veterans are directing motorists from 6:30-8:30 a.m. this week at the Interstate 70 Exit 116 interchange while the city works on the detour route at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue.”We just do the best we can to take the pressure off, but so much of it is timing,” Wilson said. “From 7-7:30 there’s a crunch with people trying to get to work by 8, and 7:30-8:30 a.m. is just a monster. That’s when traffic is consistently backed up.”With most traffic backing up on the west-bound I-70 exit, Wilson said more than one traffic controller is needed during the morning rush.”For safety, it takes at least two of us to get people through there,” he said. “Knowing it is going to be this way for a while, if people can adjust their schedules, carpool or ride the bus, that would help.” Glenwood Springs City Engineer Larry Thompson said the closure at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue is necessary to do utility work at the end of the Eighth Street bridge. He said the plan is to finish by the end of the week; however additional work around the intersection will continue over the next month and a half.”We’ll be doing some other utility work over the next several weeks like new curbs and gutters, sidewalks and pavement,” Thompson said. “We’ll also be putting in a new traffic signal at the intersection. The target completion for all of this is the first part of October – our goal is to coincide with the expected opening of Glenwood Meadows.Thompson agreed with Wilson on advising commuters to take steps in making the morning drive to work a little easier.”If people anticipate the fact that Grand Avenue is the sole corridor of transportation through Glenwood Springs this week, it will make things a lot easier,” Thompson said. “Plan schedules accordingly and give a little more time.”Wilson said although the traffic can be hectic, he doesn’t mind taking on traffic duty, especially when the weather is nice and people smile and wave.”It’s not that bad – it is kind of nice to get out of the office,” Wilson said. “The thing is, it’s hard to bring in employees for two hours, especially when some of them live in Rifle. Directing traffic is part of the job.”Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.comStreet smartThe detour at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue is expected to be closed through Friday. Expect the heaviest traffic on I-70 exit ramps and near the Grand Avenue Bridge.

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